Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by dollface, on 2005-09-08 19:17:33

how to get #@%&$ fabric to drape!

hi guys i'm trying to wrangle fabric into "falling" properly at miniature scale, the way curtains or drapes do in real life, with fine pleats or folds... with not much luck! anyone got suggestions? thanks, t.

Posted by blackdog7856, on 2005-09-08 21:41:59

Hey, I havent tried many ways (im still a newbie) but depending on whether you want somewhat cartoony or not you could just use clay, sculpt a curtain type look with clay rolled through a paste machine (on atleast a 3 I think) and If you want it to just stay put, I just baked it and mine came out pretty good. If you want realistic then I'm afraid I dont have the answer :( . Good luck, hope this helps!

Posted by grassiness, on 2005-09-09 16:05:07

I'd use thin fabric with a low wale (fine texture) and dip it in fabric stiffener or stabilizer. You can arrange the fabric to fall or fold any way you like, and when it dries, it will feel fairly stiff and will hold the shape you arranged it in. Wetting the fabric will relax the hold. Fabric stiffener can be found in sewing/fabric shops. My favorite is Perfect Sew Fabric Stabilizer, which I've only found on-line: good luck

Posted by Yuji, on 2005-09-08 22:35:49

Nice work, Blackdog!

Posted by Strider, on 2005-09-08 23:25:21

The only things that come to mind are, get the thinnest fabric you can, and maybe make it fold where you want by getting it wet and kind of working it over a support or something.

Posted by Marc Spess, on 2005-09-09 00:19:17

I think, I read in that one Corpse article on how they did fabrication - that they used custom Chinese dyed silks over foam latex under-bodies which had pre-sculpted wrinkles. This way when they bent the arm the wrinkles are sort of built into the design and the fabric follows the high and low spots of the foam. Marc

Posted by dollface, on 2005-09-09 12:57:42

thanks very much for the advice so far... BLACKDOG: unfortunately, i AM going for the realistic look (argh!) though i was impressed by what you managed to accomplish with clay... MIKE: good idea - i will try wetting the fabric next. MARC: i'm also gonna try your suggestion - tho what i'm making isn't for a puppet, it's a fabric canopy over a victorian-style bed, with lots of draping folds... but same principle: i'll try making some kind of sculpted drape-mold underneath, then somehow press/glue/starch/FORCE the fabric to that shape! thanks guys - always nice to get such prompt and helpful advice, otherwise i would feel very alone in this solo stopmotion effort! t.

Posted by blackdog7856, on 2005-09-09 15:35:04

even if it wasnt any help, I just am glad I finally got to post something other than "help me please". I finally got (at least try) to help someone! Michael Darbyshire (under construction)

Posted by mefull, on 2005-09-09 16:41:39

It's an old trick, but you can spraymount some aluminum foil to the back of your fabric or sew the alum between two layers of fabric. Then fold or crease it anyway you want If the heavy duty foil at the grocery store is too thin, try the stuff found at stage lighting supply stores. I think its called Black Wrap. It is a heavier guage foil that is painted black for working with lights - handy stuff to have on hand. Mark

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-09-12 01:02:25

Yeah, Like the others have been saying. Wetting the fabric gives it some weight and makes it floppier, so it forms finer folds. I have mixed some pva glue with the water so it dries a little stiff and holds the shape for curtains that don't get animated. The other ideas, like black wrap or a couple of guide wires, can also help. Thinner fabric helps to scale it down too, but sometimes very thin fabric can be too translucent, that's one factor that doesn't scale down. Also cutting on the bias - so the weave of the fabric is diagonal rather than up and down - is a fashion/costume designer's trick for getting nicer drape effects.

Posted by Strider, on 2005-09-12 01:15:41

Don't get carried away putting wires in fabric though! x( I ran a wire all the way around the edge of Buster's jacket, and now every time I grab him to animate, I have to be really careful not to move it. I think just a simple loop around the bottom edge would have been sufficient. Next time I'll know better.

Posted by dollface, on 2005-09-15 14:28:19

aw, thanks for your help everyone! i was getting frustrated but now i feel inspired again! thankyou t.

Posted by Tedder, on 2005-09-30 16:43:01

May be too late, but I used hairspray--I pinned the fabric into place and hit it with the spray to make it hold still. Hope it helps

Posted by jennelopi, on 2007-03-24 14:01:27

Could try inserting thin garden wire into the hems, it means you can mould the entire curtain at the top and bottom.